[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2013] – I have been seeing a lot of introduced or escaped birds lately around San Diego. Reported earlier this year in Point Loma, both at the residence of Sara and Keith Mayers and in February near Famosa Slough, I just happened upon this European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis while getting into my car on Silver Gate Ave. I heard a twinkling goldfinch song, not quite right for our native species, and, sure enough, here was an iconic bird from my childhood in England singing from a small maple tree right over my car! The goldfinch eventually moved up to a higher tree perch and continued calling before flying off further away out of sight. This bird is of the nominate carduelis group of forms found throughout the Western Palaearctic, I think the most popular form kept in captivity.
Just the other day I again heard the giveaway gurgling fluty call of a bulbul in the southeast corner of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Sure enough it appears to be the same White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis that I ran into back here last year in June. Perhaps it does not make its way up to the cemetery very often, but I did also see a report in eBird from this location recently of this species! Easily recognized by its black-and-white head pattern, long tail and yellow undertail coverts, this bird is banded (blue left leg) and the call is loud and sounds typically like members of this genus of bulbul. This species originates from the Middle East and Asia with a widespread range extending from Kuwait through India and Pakistan. This individual is rather shy but I did obtain some photographs at a distance shown below.